Lead Plant (Amorpha canescens)

Lead Plant (Amorpha canescens)

Pretty silver-hued leaves compliment the purple and orange flowers on this short shrub. A super deep taproot–up to 20 feet deep!–helps this long-lived plant survive droughts. Every prairie garden deserves at least one. It is a legume–a plant that increases nitrogen in the soil.


Sun:    Full Sun, Part Shade
Moisture:    Medium, Dry
Height:    3 feet
Blooms:    June, July, Aug
Color:    Purple
Spacing:    1-2′
Zones:    3-9
Benefits:    Butterflies, Pollinators, Deer Resistant

Design Tips

This small, compact shrub is best planted individually in sunny gardens, with about one every 15 feet.

Companion Plants

Butterfly Milkweed
Pale Purple Coneflower
Little Bluestem
Prairie Dropseed